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return home, the Vincennes, would, during her voyage, visit the South Sea Islands. In the beginning of the year 1829, Mr. Stewart embarked in the Guerriere at Baltimore. The vessel
proceeded to Rio Janeiro, where the company made a short stay. The author gives a copious account of Brazilian customs and manners, entirely according with that which has been already so elegantly narrated by Dr. Walsh, whom, by the way, our naval chaplain met at the court of Brazil, to his own very great gratification.
The Guerriere, after a short delay in the harbour of Rio Janeiro, pursued her voyage round Cape Horn, and landed her passengers at Valparaiso. They next proceeded to Lima, where they disembarked, for the purpose of visiting the most interesting parts of Peru. The corvette Vincennes, which was appointed to take up the missionary, was now at anchor at Callao, and on the 26th July, 1829, he sailed in her for the South Sea Islands. Those for which the vessel was first destined, belonged to the United States, and are called the Washington Islands. They are generally confounded in our maps and descriptions with the Spanish group, the Marquesas; but it is singular, that notwithstanding the great proximity of the “Marquesas" and the “Washington," the latter were not discovered till 1791, whereas the others have been known since 1595. Mr. Stewart's account of the inhabitants, and the productions of the Washington group, will have, doubtless, the effect of directing general attention to them. The names of the islands are Huabuka, Nukuhiva, and Napou—the second one being worthy of remembrance by all Englishmen, as the place where Commodore Porter refitted his squadron in the Pacific, during the late American war. The islands form, by their relative position, a triangular figure, the points of which are included within the parallels of 8° 38' and go 32' S. lat. and 139° 20 'and 140° 10' W. long. from Greenwich. Nukuhiva, the principal island, was selected as the place of disembarkation ; and as the inhabitants were in a complete state of nature, and as the little they had already known of civilized visitors was of a very unfavourable character, it became important for the ship's captain, and the chaplain, to deliberate on the proper means of introducing themselves to the islanders. After due consideration, a general order was drawn up by the captain, which was read by the first lieutenant after prayers, a few days before the time fixed on for a landing. This document exhibits strong selise, liberality, and prudence ; and is admirably suited to all occasions of the like nature, whatever be the part of the world where they
As the ship was bearing away for a convenient place on the shore of Nukuhiva, they were suddenly surprised at seeing the top of one of the hills, directly abreast of the ship, suddenly crowned with islanders. They were naked, and waved streamers of white
spears, while the coast rang with their shouts. The
ship ran close in with the shore of the above island, opposite a place called the Valley of the Taipiis. It was instantly surrounded by fishing canoes of all sizes, filled with men, who testified their surprise at the arrival of the vessel, by laughter and the most extraordinary expressions of wild joy. Several of the fishermen clambered up the ship's sides, and seemed delighted to be permitted to be in the presence of the crew. The secret of the enthusiasm exhibited by the islanders was afterwards fully developed, for it appeared that they were then at war with a neighbouring tribe, and they took it for granted that there was no other purpose intended by the approach of a ship to their territory, than the conveyance of succours to enable theni to triumph over their enemies. In two or three hours after the arrival of the vessel, an announcement was made to the captain that a canoe of chieftains was in attendance. The party consisted of Moana, the king of the tribe, a boy only eight years old; Haape, his guardian ; Tenae, a brother of Moana ; and Piaroro, a chief of a neighbouring tribe. The boys are described as bright-looking little fellows, of good temper, and so insinuating as to become favourites, in a very short time, with all the officers. They were all naked, except that each had on a simple maro of an inferior kind of tapa or native cloth. Piaroro possessed all the bearing of a prince. He was tall and well proportioned, but his skin was tattooed in so finished a manner as to give it the appearance of a variegated garment.
. Having obtained from this desultory intercourse with the natives, some valuable hints as to their character and dispositions, the captain of the Vincennes commenced a more friendly communication, by an offer of various presents. He caused a white flag to be hoisted at the foretop mast head, which, as Piaroro was desired to explain to the natives, who crowded round the vessel in canoes, was intended to be an invitation to all persons who wished to come on board. It was with some difficulty, in the evening, that the ship could be cleared of its visitors, and even some unpleasant manifestations of a resolution to send away the natives, was necessary, in order to accomplish that object. The next day the chiefs returned, accompanied by a no less remarkable companion than Morrison, an Englishman, who had resided in their islands for several years, in the capacity of a collector of sandal wood. The object of the visit was to request that the officers of the ship would come on shore. They complied, and proceeded in a large company to the house, where the young king Moana resided. The construction of the habitations, the manners, and costumes of these islanders, which the author describes at some length, do not differ materially from those of the other tribes of the Pacific, with the exception, that they are not infanticides. Their funeral ceremonies are, however, marked by some strking peculiarities. When a person falls dangerously ill, sorcerers are called in to exercise their skill in .combating the disease. Women, in the mean time, pour in, in
crowds, wailing and moaning in the most melancholy tones. If the patient be despaired of, the Tanas (sorcerers) dance naked round the mat of the dying man, cutting their bodies with sharp stones, and uttering the most piercing cries. This sort of lamentation they keep up until the patient expires, and then they all combine in a terrific and prolonged howl. The corpse is then laid out in a neighbouring house, and watched night and day, whilst the priests occasionally chaunt songs over the deceased. Until these songs are completed, all the friends of the dead man abstain from food, and permit no fire to be lighted in their sight. Meantime every preparation is made for a large feast, the scale of which depends altogether on the station of the person whose memory it is meant to celebrate. Invitations to this festival are carried round by a regular officer, and on the day of holding it, there is always a large concourse of guests. The head of the family cuts up the hogs with a knife of bamboo, and separates the flesh from the bones with a sharp stone. The head of the hog belongs to the principal priest, who always lays it aside, taking care to make a hearty meal on some other part of the fattest of these animals. For the reception of the body of the deceased, a structure of singular formation was raised in a place adjoining the house where it lay. A small platform was raised in the midst of a stone enclosure, at each corner of which a number of long bamboos were erected. These were bound together at short intervals, in a square form, by bands of white cloth, whilst in the interior were seen several cones composed of the braided leaf of a cocoa-nut, confined at the tops by bands of white cloth, whilst the extremities hung down in long pennants. These cones surrounded a bier, which was covered with white, and they were destined to receive the food and water which it was thought the deceased stood in need of. Urns of cocoa-nut oil were likewise placed within this sanctuary, into which heated stones were put, in order that the evaporation of the oil might produce an incense,which was deemed of salutary influence on the condition of the dead man. Mr. Stewart took every opportunity of presenting the beauties and benefits of the Christian religion to the simple minds of the chiefs ruling over Nukuhiva, and for our parts, we cannot refrain from thinking that the kind and prudent conduct of himself and his party, rather than any force of argument which he might have used, generated in these chiefs that confidence in his councils, which induced them to long for his return, or for the approach of those, who, he promised, would repeat to them the same advice.
We have stated that the islanders with whom the ship's crew had hitherto been in communication, namely, the Teiis, Taisas, and Hapas, were waging a sanguinary war against the Taipiis, a neighbouring tribe. Captain Finch thought it prudent to make no distinction between the rival parties, and he resolved to shew an equal solicitude for the condition of the one as he had already exhibited
for that of the other. By presents of various sorts, and by displaying an earnest sympathy in the situation of the Taipiis, Captain Finch soon acquired a complete ascendancy over them. They heard him with the deepest attention, and were particularly pleased with the admonitions which the captain urged against war; for all that they had ever before received from white men in the shape of advice, was directly of a contrary tendency. So struck were the leaders of this tribe with the exhortations of the Americans, that they declared themselves ready to make immediate peace with the hostile tribes, and live for the future in harmony and friendship. As a proof of the good faith with which the Taipiis carried on their negotiations with Captain Finch, we may mention that they frankly avowed baving long followed the practice of stealing from other tribes human victims to offer in sacrifice. They, however, added that this was merely an act of retaliation, which the example of their enemies justified them in adopting. Nor were the Taipiis less candid in admitting that they eat the bodies of their enemies, and of prisoners, taken in battle. But these and similar enormities they promised to relinquish, and we sincerely hope that the Americans, ere this, have taken full advantage of the happy docility of the poor islanders.
It is due to the natives of the Washington, and of the Marquesan groups, generally, to mention that they appear to respond more faithfully to the instincts of our common nature, than the inhabitants of any other of the South Sea Islands. Their population is unstained by the crime of infanticide, so common in the Georgian, Society, and Sandwich Islands, at least, during the period preceding the introduction of Christianity into those places : and it is a happiness to think that, in no country of the civilized world, are the relations of kindred more affectionately maintained, than in the rude valleys of Nukuhiva, and its neighbourhood. A singular anomaly, however, is chargeable upon the population, inasmuch as by their laws, or rather customs, they admit of a plurality, not indeed of wives, as exists in older countries, but of husbands; and stranger still, the marriage tie, even under such circumstances, is observed with admirable fidelity. Nay, instances of powerful conjugal affection are among the topics of familiar conversation amongst them. They state examples, in which the un-. kindness of a husband or a wife has so affected the companion, as to lead to the perpetration of suicide, which was easily effected by swallowing a poisonous berry.
After parting from the Washington group, the Vincennes proceeded direct to the Sandwich Isles, at the several missionary stations in which, Mr. Stewart evidently feels himself completely at home. His accounts of the labours of the missionaries on these islands, and his views of their future progress, are essentially different from those which have been promulgated by authorities worthy of confidence. We allude particularly to Captain Beechey,
exposure of the profligacy and hypocrisy of the royal family of the Sandwich Islands, and his condemnation of the imprudent zeal of the missionaries, have subjected him to the hasty censure of Mr. Stewart, in other respects one of the most candid and temperate commentators on persons and events, with whom it was ever our good fortune to become conversant. His explanation of the charges adduced by Captain Beechey, consists merely, of an assertion, that the gallant officer received his information from a deceitful and deceiving source.' But we have to remind Mr. Stewart, that as to what was alleged by the former writer, respecting the royal family, he, (Captain Beechey,) spoke altogether from personal knowledge; and as to the stateinent about the missionaries, we have to observe, that the same Mr. Stewart acknowledges that 'these missi unaries possibly are too rigidly literal in their interpretation and enforcement of the commandments; and an error may arise from this source in the formation of provisions for police, or other regulations by the native government, and on their subsequer administration and fulfilment.'-vol. ii.
The corvette, after visiting Canton, returned by the Cape of Good Hope and St. Helena, to her native shores.
It is impossible to speak in exaggerated terms of the straightforward, manly, and generous tone in which Mr. Stewart uniformly. treats of the strange countries, and the diversified customs of men, with which he became cognizant during his voyage. Whilst he pays unfeigned respect to the peculiarities of habit, and manners, and religion, and describes them with an unceasing recollection that they are all the adoption of persons who have an undoubted right to choose for themselves, he still never flinches from the fullest assertion of all the feelings that properly belong to his sacred and interesting character. Mr. Stewart professed to give us a book of travels, an. most honourably has he observed the tacit treaty into which he thus entered with the public. Hence, beyond the occasional bursting forth of a high and holy zeal in the inissionary cause, which, from its infrequency, may very well be excused, we are not disgusted at every page with the coarse and petulant bigotry, which too often obtrudes upon us in the works of other professed agents for the diffusion of the doctrines of peace, moderation, and unlimited charity.
Among the results of Captain Finch's circumnavigation, it does not appear that any very striking addition to our geographical knowledge has been made. He has certainly proved that there is no such island as Caroline island-at least that there is no island whatever in the situation assigned to it in Arrowsmith's chart. He further declares the non-existence of two other unnamed islands, which were said to be recently discovered westward of the Sandwich group, and the space assigned to which, the captain declared that his ship literally passed over. The same tale is told of